Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Infertility and marriage

As a woman who is happily married for 7 1/2 years and Trying to conceive for almost the entire time. Infertility is very hard on a marriage! All the test, the doctors appointments the stress the disappointments!! I know things have been kind of stressed for Leo and I the last couple of weeks and alot is to do with me! The hormone shots make me moody and sick and someday im feeling great other days im so tired and feel like crap. I try my hardest and i know hes not mad but sometimes i feel like a horrible wife/spouse! Its hard sometimes i wish my body would do something right...after many fails of clomid, and 125lbs lost and then we get pregnant end up in a mc and now were on the 2 week road again....How much more can a person/couple take?

Well here are some articles i found that have great info

It’s not infertility itself that can weaken your marriage - it’s how you cope as a couple that counts.
1. Accept that it’s a lifelong process. Coping with infertility - and perhaps accepting that you’ll have a childfree life together - can take years. You won’t mourn the idea that you may never have kids once and be done with it! Rather, you may have to accept it anew when you see a pregnant friend or talk to relatives you rarely see. Keeping your marriage strong in infertility involves the realization that your sadness may be a constant companion. Your partner may never “get over it.” It may affect his/her life forever.
2. Set your boundaries. If your partner needs to talk about the IVF struggles or miscarriages more than you do, then you need to set your boundaries. Boundaries are important for strong marriages - they allow partners to communicate what they need and why. Boundaries also include compromises: if you don’t want to talk about infertility issues and your partner does, then your boundary could be a certain amount of talking time…and that’s it for the day (or week, even). This is SO dependent on what the couples’ situation and personalities - there are no set rules for keeping your marriage strong in infertility!
3. Give more than you get. This may seem contradictory to “setting your boundaries”! If both partners are giving as much as they can, then they’re building a strong marriage. But, giving all you can doesn’t mean letting your partner take advantage of you or disregard your boundaries. The more you do for your partner, the more you’ll get in return (providing your partner isn’t selfish, oblivious, or emotionally unhealthy).

A Marriage Survival Kit
Many couples who experience infertility discover that their marriage is on a survival mission—and it’s not just a training exercise! How can you and your spouse preserve your relationship—and even improve it—during this difficult time?
We recommend marriage survival kit. Make sure it contains the following items:

1 A Band-Aid 
Why? Because it will remind you of an important characteristic of husbands: They like to make things feel better.
Husbands hate to see anything broken—especially their wives, who are hurt by the dashed hopes and crushed dreams that mark infertility. As one husband put it, “The most difficult part is knowing that Linda (my wife) is in so much pain.”
In our case, John hated it when Sylvia grieved over our infertility. He hated it so much that he was quick with “Band-aid” words and a quick kiss to make it better.
It will happen,” he reassured. “Don’t worry, we’re still young. We can always try again next month. Why don’t you and I go out for dinner this evening so you can get your mind off infertility? Talking about it all the time only makes you depressed. You need to start looking on the bright side of things. After all, you’ve got me, and we’re happy together! Be thankful for what you’ve got.”
Behold: Mr. Fix-it to the rescue! Like John, most husbands think it’s their God-given duty to make their wives feel better.
Unfortunately, these husbands tend to downplay the pain. Their motives may be great, but their strategy isn’t. Women suffering from infertility don’t need someone to minimize the pain; they need someone who understands it.
Husbands need to learn that they don’t have to fix the pain. They can’t! More helpful than “fixing” is simply going to your wife, putting your arms around her, and saying, “You’re really hurting today, aren’t you? I can’t make it better, but I want you to know that I love you—and when you hurt, I hurt too.”

2. A Stopwatch Wives like to talk more than their husbands do. Marriage and family therapist Philip Nienhuis says,
“Studies have indicated that in a typical day a woman will use significantly more words than her husband will use. He will be very matter of fact in stating the experiences of the day, or relating interactions with people he has met. She, on the other hand, will tend to go into much greater detail in reporting experiences or describing relationships…
Many women find it therapeutic to talk —it is a way of relieving stress. Men, on the other hand, often find that talking about an issue produces stress.”
Picture this: A husband comes home, exhausted after a challenging day. The only thing he wants to do is hibernate in front of the Monday night football game. The last thing he wants is to talk about infertility—again!
Meanwhile, his wife had a difficult day too. A woman at the office has announced an unexpected, unwanted pregnancy. Devastated by the unfairness of it all, the wife comes home and wants to talk with her husband about how this makes her feel.
What’s going to happen when these two come together for the evening? Tension, not tenderness!
Here’s where the stopwatch comes in. It can remind a couple of what has often been called the “Twenty-Minute Rule.”
As far as we can determine, Merle Bombardieri first came up with the idea in the National RESOLVE Newsletter. It’s a simple technique designed to let couples talk about infertility without allowing it to dominate the relationship. Having discussed their infertility often and in depth in the past, the couple agrees that if one of them brings up the topic, they’ll discuss it for 20 minutes and no longer. After 20 minutes they’ll move to another subject.
This is a good rule! When it’s practiced, several things happen. The wife knows she has to focus her comments clearly or she’ll miss her chance. The husband, instead of listening with one ear while the other is trying to catch the football score, concentrates on what his wife is saying because he knows it’s not going to be an all-night conversation. Best of all, they have the rest of the evening to talk about and do other things.

3. Bubble Bath and Candles For many couples undergoing infertility treatment, romance is an early casualty. Though some report that the experience draws them closer, many find it takes a toll on intimacy and spontaneity.
How can you keep your romance alive? Try little things—a love note in lipstick on the bathroom mirror, a love poem tucked into a briefcase, a night at a cozy bed-and-breakfast, a long evening walk together. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of creativity. We like the way Colleen Botsios describes a romantic evening with her husband (originally written in the book, When Empty Arms Become a Heavy Burden):
“Two years ago on Valentine’s Day, I was feeling about as low as I’d ever been. All the basic infertility workup had been completed and nothing stood out as an obvious impediment to pregnancy. But then, as always, I regrouped. It was Valentine’s Day—a time to be festive and romantic.
My husband arrived home from work about 6 P.M. And I met him in a sexy nightgown, explaining that I had a romantic evening planned. I showed him to the bathroom, which was dark except for the votive candles scattered around. The whirlpool was gurgling away in the corner, complete with coconut bubble bath and really hot water…
Somewhere in the special aura of the evening, infertility, though still close, was somehow far away from us and not so overwhelming. There was temporarily some room to cuddle and smile and laugh heartily.”
4. A Cell Phone Sometimes even the closest of couples run out of patience, hope, or energy. When the challenges of infertility tax your resources to the limit, help can be just a phone call away. Don’t hesitate to consult a counselor or pastor, even if it’s just a few sessions to get your relationship back on track.

5) PEACHES AND PLUMS Thankfully, many of us have spouses who understand and care. In such marries there’s a wonderful sense of making the journey of infertility together. Partners hurt together, pray together, and support one another as they face the challenges of infertility or miscarriage.
In these marriages, husbands accompany their wives to doctors’ appointments and are present for every procedure. They bring their wives a bouquet or arrange for dinner out on those dark days when gloom is running high and hope is running low. Husbands like that are “peaches.”
And in these marriages, wives understand their responsibility to support their husbands—especially when the husband appears to have the main medical problem. These wives know that being told by a physician, “You’re not in the major leagues in terms of sperm production or motility,” or, “I’m afraid you’re sterile,” is difficult for any man to take.
These wives know the last thing their husbands need are comments like, “I told you a long time ago you should be checked,” or, “You knew you should have been wearing boxer shorts, but you’re too stubborn.”
A husband needs a wife who, using her God-given charm and grace helps him to know that he’s still sexy, strong, and valued. Such a wife is a “plum!”
Whether your spouse has told you or not, he or she is counting on you. Your marriage can thrive—if you renew your commitment to be the wife or husband your partner needs